Articles by Tony Hirst

Setting Axis Limits on ggplot Charts

December 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

I’ve been doodling some chart in R/ggplot using geom_text() to generate a labelled scatterplot. The chart actually builds up several layers using different datasets, so it’s not obvious how to set the ranges cleanly: I know the lower bound I want for the y-axis (y=0), but ... [Read more...]

Data Textualisation – Making Human Readable Sense of Data

November 18, 2013 | 0 Comments

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but whilst many of us may get a pre-attentive gut reaction reading from a data set visualised using a chart type we’re familiar with, how many of us actually take the time to read a chart thoroughly and maybe verbalise, even ... [Read more...]

Local Council Spending Data – Time Series Charts

November 6, 2013 | 0 Comments

In What Role, If Any, Does Spending Data Have to Play in Local Council Budget Consultations? I started wondering about the extent to which local spending transparency data might play a role in supporting consultation around new budgets. As a first pass, I’ve popped up a quick application up ... [Read more...]

Generating d3js Motion Charts from rCharts

November 4, 2013 | 0 Comments

Remember Gapminder, the animated motion chart popularised by Hans Rosling in his TED Talks and Joy of Stats TV programme? Well it’s back on TV this week in Don’t Panic – The Truth About Population, a compelling piece of OU/BBC co-produced stats theatre featuring Hans Rosling, and a ... [Read more...]

Negative Payments in Local Spending Data

August 17, 2013 | 0 Comments

In anticipation of a new R library from School of Data data diva @mihi_tr that will wrap the OpenSpending API and providing access to OpenSpending.org data directly from within R, I thought I’d start doodling around some ideas raised in Identifying Pieces in the Spending Data Jigsaw. ... [Read more...]

Generating Sankey Diagrams from rCharts

July 23, 2013 | 0 Comments

A couple of weeks or so ago, I picked up an inlink from an OCLC blog post about Visualizing Network Flows: Library Inter-lending. The post made use of Sankey diagrams to represent borrowing flows, and by implication suggested that the creation of such diagrams is not as easy as it ... [Read more...]

Generating Alerts From Guardian University Tables Data

June 23, 2013 | 0 Comments

One of the things I’ve been pondering with respect to the whole data journalism process is how journalists without a lot of statistical training can quickly get a feel for whether there may be interesting story leads in a dataset, or how they might be able to fashion “alerts” ... [Read more...]

Estimated Follower Accession Charts for Twitter

April 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

Just over a year or so ago, Mat Morrison/@mediaczar introduced me to a visualisation he’d been working on (How should Page Admins deal with Flame Wars?) that I started to refer to as an accession chart (Visualising Activity Around a Twitter Hashtag or Search Term Using R). The ... [Read more...]

Revisiting MPs’ Expenses

April 2, 2013 | 0 Comments

I couldn’t but notice the chatter about Iain Duncan Smith claiming he’d have no problem “living on 53 pounds a dayweek“, which made me wonder not only how many meal catered events he attends each week (and how many of his scheduled meeting also have complementary tea and biscuits (... [Read more...]

Sketches Around Twitter Followers

February 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

I’ve been doodling… Following a query about the possible purchase of Twitter followers for various public figure accounts (I need to get my head round what the problem is with that exactly?!), I thought I’d have a quick look at some stats around follower groupings… I started off ... [Read more...]

Reshaping Horse Import/Export Data to Fit a Sankey Diagram

February 18, 2013 | 0 Comments

As the food labeling and substituted horsemeat saga rolls on, I’ve been surprised at how little use has been made of “data” to put the structure of the food chain into some sort of context* (or maybe I’ve just missed those stories?). One place that can almost always ... [Read more...]

F1Stats – Correlations Between Qualifying, Grid and Race Classification

February 9, 2013 | 0 Comments

Following directly on from F1Stats – Visually Comparing Qualifying and Grid Positions with Race Classification, and continuing in my attempt to replicate some of the methodology and results used in A Tale of Two Motorsports: A Graphical-Statistical Analysis of How Practice, Qualifying, and Past SuccessRelate to Finish Position in NASCAR ... [Read more...]
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